No Bye Week issues this year minus Trent Brown’s off-the-field civil lawsuit for alleged DV against an ex girlfriend.
The Oakland Raiders beat the Khalil Mack led Chicago Bears in London, the Silver and Black acquired Zay Jones and they’re sitting above .500 in the playoff pick.
Either way, the Raiders are in a good spot in the bye week. Tyrell Williams got an extra week to rest his feet and Gabe Jackson is expected to return from preseason injury.
I need a Zaytoven signature drop every time the former Bills receiver scores. Because his addition is music to my ears. The six-three receiver can bring the Raiders harmony once they get speedster receiver Tyrell Williams back from injury.
In the meantime, Jone might be the Raiders best receiver. He will make his debut as a key receiver with an extra week passed to have learned the playbook and Derek Carr. Jones never had more than 700 receiving yards in Buffalo but he did set the receiving record in college for career receptions. He was also a solid deep threat and had the agility, strength and explosiveness to be a second round pick in 2017.
It is a low risk move for the Raiders who could not rest on good enough to beat the Bears during the bye. Jones can hopefully bring some depth and possession receiver skills to Oakland’s corps which needs it all.
That means we should get a good read on what Jones will bring to the team, where his chemistry with Carr is and more this week. He could easily be the DaVante Adams (Carr’s college favorite target), James Jones or Michael Crabtree with his size and speed combination. Hopefully he can give the Coliseum reasons to dance when a Zaytoven drop hits after a TD.
No Pack No
Most of all, the Raiders get an extra week to figure out how to stop A-rod and the Packers offense.
The Silver and Black will also get challenged offensively. Green Bay paid for a couple of pass rushers with the last name Smith who are playing well this season. Add in Amos and a young, improving Packers defense is set up to take away Derek Carr’s downfield passing aspirations.
Of course, the Raiders are going to do their best to wear that front seven down with their run game and catch the secondary slipping on play action passes. The game is still gonna come down to Derek Carr matching No. 12 for the Packers.
Bad officiating aside, Monday Night Football showed Aaron Rodgers doing what it takes to help his team win. As long as the game is close, Rodgers always keeps them in the game. It will be Carr’s job to do the same for the Raiders. Carr needs to find ways to keep drives alive and answer the Packers’ momentum in a hostile environment.
Speaking of which, the Raiders haven’t won in Lombeau since the 80s. Social Media is already showing Raider Nation deep in Green Bay. Why Not?
This is an old rivalry of two small NFL teams dating back to Super Bowl II when these guys play. They’re the most iconic names and fanbases in all of sports.
We Talkin’ about Playoffs?
It should be a good game and a chance for a statement win as 5-1 Green Bay could be without several key receivers and Jimmy Graham.
Suddenly, the Raiders find themselves with the same amount of losses as the first place Chiefs who will be without Pat Mahomes at least a bit after his knee injury. Denver and Los Angeles seem underwhelming in the AFC West which gives the Raiders a good shot at the playoffs.
Before all that, they got to figure out a way to tell the pack no on defense. They managed without Vontaze Burfict on defense and kept running the ball with Trent Brown out a few weeks. They will need to do more against a Green Bay team that seems finally ready for Super Bowl contention again thanks to an improved offense and more skill around Rodgers.
This will be a telling game for the rest of the Raiders season. How do they come out on the road after a bye? Are they hyped and ready to go or sluggish? Do they come out with new formations on both sides or is it more of the status quo? What other adjustments can this coaching staff make to keep the Raiders competitive versus a very talent Packers team.
We find this all out today when Oakland plays the Pack as a 5-point underdog. If the Raiders can pressure Rodgers and get a turnover, they got a shot. That is especially true if Carr can get the offense rolling again early like versus Denver, Indianapolis and Chicago.
This game will tell us if the Raiders are that team that won decisively in those three games. Or were they the team that got dominated by more talented Vikings and Chiefs teams?
Remember, Green Bay beat the Minnesota team that stomped the Raiders. They also beat the Bears so this game could honestly go either way.
It will be up to the Raiders to come out fast and smart early. They got to prove they’re not overmatched and they’re willing to win a physical game or shootout it a hostel environment. This will be the week where the Raiders show us if they are pretenders or contenders.
If they capitalize on the Packers injuries and find ways to score on offense, they got a chance to join the AFC’s strongest teams. Otherwise, a loss might expose them as the .500 team they are desperately trying to maintain.